WVHS graduates 324 in commencement ceremony at C Ashley Morgan Field


WVHS graduates 324 in commencement ceremony at C Ashley Morgan Field

June 26, 2021

Under mostly sunny skies, in a familiar “home” and traditional commencement format, Warwick Valley High School’s 324 seniors became graduates on Saturday, June 26.

** Commencement replay link at the end of this story **

Principal Marguerite Fusco kicked things off, telling the Class of 2021 that adults always have “When I was in school…” stories. She remembered not having the internet and having to go to the library to utilize the library server to find articles or search periodicals on microfilm.

“In about 20 years, you are going to be able to tell your ‘When I was in school…’ story. I am so curious to know what that is going to sound like,” she said. “Because I think, after this year, you might have a pretty good story to tell. But to tell you the truth, when I think back to my memories of high school, I don’t recall the amount of time I spent doing research papers. I think of the lifelong friendships that were formed, fun times, and accomplishments that were made.”

WVHS Principal Marguerite Fusco

She reminded the students of some accomplishments they have had:

– The three senior members of the Science Research program who took to the stage to present their three years’ worth of scientific research in the areas of medicine, fishery and nutrition.

– Rather than cancelling the spring musical, students brought the theater from the stage to in front of the camera to produce “Songs for a New World.”

– The senior editors on the yearbook staff stepped up to produce the annual edition in a year when students were in the building part-time.

“I could stand here all day and talk about the great accomplishments that came out of the Class of 2021,” Mrs. Fusco said. “I could speak to the eight section championships that were won in athletics, or the fabulous fashion show that took place a few short weeks ago. There are just so many. When you think about all the things that happened when you were in school, try to remember the great things, the fun things and how you persevered through the toughest of times. These are stories worth talking about and should not be minimized nor forgotten.”

Salutatorian Simone Sullivan asked the class what defines success to them and told the class how she defines success.

WVHS Salutatorian Simone Sullivan

“I believe that success is truly defined by purpose,” she said. “If we have goals, we are legitimately working toward, goals that empower us to do better for ourselves – no matter how big or how small, no matter how significant or how menial – then we can define ourselves as successful people. Because we are trying. Because we are working toward growth.”

Sullivan will be attending Northwestern University and majoring in chemical engineering.

Board of Education President Sharon Davis said that this year’s pandemic has made her wish she could still have a few more conversations with her father, who grew up in the Netherlands during World War II and the Nazi occupation.

“The Greatest Generation battled a fascist dictator, and then went on to rebuild a shattered world and land a man on the moon,” she said. “While the obstacles you faced and overcame these past months were different from theirs, Class of 2021, we are filled with hope for you to come out stronger and more resilient.”

Valedictorian Julia Mosier thanked the District’s teachers and staff, her parents and grandparents, and her classmates and friends. She asked her classmates to focus on the positives of a class that united under the pandemic, and invited them to not dwell on any regrets and disappointment of not experiencing a traditional senior year.

WVHS Valedictorian Julia Mosier

“This year, even amidst the strangest, most unforeseen loss, the pandemic, we emerged as one, strong, united class – a class with some of the most amazing students, athletes, artists, musicians, technicians, and community members that I have ever met,” she said. “We’re here and we’ve prevailed. You should all be very proud.”

Mosher will be attending the Dyson School at Cornell University, where she will double-major in Applied Economics and Management and Neuroscience.

Tegh Singh, the senior speaker for the Class of 2021, told his classmates that his parents were right about how time flies.

“I hope that you all lived these moments, to the fullest, because there’s no coming back,” he said. “Whether we want to accept this or not, everything eventually comes to an end. That’s just life! But after each closed chapter, comes a new beginning. Whether it be college, trade school, new job, armed services, whatever, but something new is coming. The challenges of what lies ahead will be hard to anticipate, but whatever they are, we’re ready.”

Tegh will be attending Wesleyan University in the fall and will major in computer science.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Leach said he looked for words of wisdom written by mothers and fathers. “I ‘Googled’ graduation letters from parents to their children and quickly found myself somewhat emotional and surprised at just how similar the notes were,” he said.

He read some excerpts from letters written by parents and delivered his top 10 list of words of wisdom parents have offered their graduating seniors. Advice included phoning home regularly to stay connected to your family and turning on and keeping on your “My Find” app so your parents will worry less and know their children’s whereabouts.

WVCSD Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Leach

“And while it didn’t make the Top 10, my favorite quote is: ‘Walk in like you own the place, and if they kick you out, walk out like you just sold it,’” he said. “Levity aside, we are all so excited about your future. And we are sad to see you go. At the same time, you have made friendships and memories that will last forever, and you’ll always be a cherished member of our school family.”

Senior class President Kristin Thompson talked to the class about mental health, the pandemic, remaining positive.

“Having a supportive and open-minded community can have a powerful impact on one’s life,” she said. “I feel very lucky to have grown up in a community like Warwick where people are caring, accepting, and encouraging. The students I’ve spent my years with have inspired me, challenged me, and helped me, and I am very thankful for the friendships I’ve been able to build.”

Kristin will be attending the University of Southern California and majoring in Economics/Mathematics. 

Click here to view the WVHS 2021 Commencement Ceremony.



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